In Search of the Perfect Pout
BY: CLAIRE – DAYS [DAYS SINCE Today] AGO
Lips are amazing! We put them through so much, but we sometimes forget to take care of them the way we should and in this day and age there are so many options so we shouldn’t let forgetfulness be our excuse. We can tint them, coat them in colour, fill them or find other methods of enhancement, but we have to take care of them in order to keep them feeling and looking healthy so that when we decide to throw some colour on, they are at their very best at all times.
So, I’m diving straight into a world of all things lips and letting you know just how to make your lips your best feature while keeping them healthy. Let’s perfect that pout!
Preparing your Lips
Lipstick these days can last two minutes or two days and if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into you can be in for a shock when you try to get it to come off at the end of the day. Now, over time cosmetic companies have improved formulas to make them longer lasting but gentler on the lips but they can still take a bit of work to remove so it is important to pay close attention to them to make sure you are cleansing properly and not doing harm to your lips at the same time.
Soap and warm water is the old reliable cleanser that has been used for years and won’t be going anywhere either, so if you find yourself away from home, then fear not, you can get rid of most stubborn makeup and dirt with a simple bar of soap. Otherwise invest in an actual make up remover that breaks down the particles of lipstick and will take it away with a couple of good rubs. Cleansing wipes will also do the work for you but may only attack the makeup and not get into the tough spots.
When cleansing, think about the delicate nature of your lips and don’t start scrubbing until they feel raw as trust me, that will feel even worse tomorrow when they start feeling dry and tender. For really stuck on, long lasting lipstick try coconut oil as an alternative cleanser as the oil helps get into the particles and make it easier to slide off while making your lips feel smooth at the same time.
So now we have cleansing down, time to think about the condition your lips are in. Perhaps you rubbed them a little too hard to get rid of your makeup or perhaps you have just neglected them a little too much lately and they just feel a little cracked and dry. I mean, this happens, right? We get too busy in our lives to keep up with everything so maybe the health of our lips also slips by the wayside. But it isn’t too late to do something about it, and the solution is simple really: Exfoliation. We exfoliate our bodies so why wouldn’t we treat our faces the same? Of course, we can’t just go grabbing any old body scrub and expect it to do the same. It can actually be worse for our lips to use anything too heavy or fragranced or anything with rougher granules.
The skin on your lips is so delicate and the layers are very thin and are devoid of the cells that produce melanin which are responsible for pigment in the skin. This is why blood vessels are so prominent and the colour comes through in the rosy hue of your lips. I know, its all technical and not exactly bedtime reading, but it hopefully shows you just how thin the layers are and exactly why you shouldn’t go to town on your lips with any harsh exfoliating scrubs.
So, you can choose a formulated exfoliator from your favourite beauty store to get rid of dead skin from your lips or you can use a home formulated scrub that is gentle on the lips and does the job almost, if not just as well. You just need a few ingredients to make it happen and a firm favourite of mine is granulated sugar and honey or sometimes coconut oil if I don’t have honey handy. If you make a light paste and use a cotton bud or the back of an old toothbrush or my choice of a towel as it is softer, then rub the paste in circular motions around the lips to pick up any loose dead skin. When you’re done – it should take more than a few minutes – gently wash your lips with cool water and feel the silky smoothness! If you feel a little bit brave, add a little cinnamon into the scrub and it will leave you with a tingly feeling that feels great on the lips and keeps the blood vessels flowing for a plumper pout.
Don’t over do it by exfoliating though, you don’t need to do it more than once a week really and you shouldn’t due to the fact that you could end up scrubbing skin that isn’t ready to go and this will only leave you with sore and tender lips until they heal.
There are no excuses when it comes to putting on sun cream and other protectors. The sun’s harmful UV rays can do so much long-term damage that we all panic about, but we also forget about the short-term damage that can lead to these problems. If you have ever had sunburn then you know the score, its painful, its red and its hot. When you’re on holiday that combination is just the recipe for a miserable time and investing in plenty of creams and lotions to try and make yourself feel more comfortable.
Sun burn anywhere on the body is not fun, but the lips? Well that is a different game altogether. The problem with sun burnt lips is that you don’t even realise until it’s too late and I fact you can mistake the initial plump and smooth texture for healthy lips and just carry on doing nothing to protect them. I have had sun burnt lips and regretted every time I skipped on my sun protection balms because I thought that it would last hours at a time even though I was in and out of the pool all day. Well, learn from my mistake here and get those lips protected, or you will end up with sores and cracks that last your entire holiday and make even smiling for a group photo one of the hardest tasks you’ll have to do all week.
Make sure you go for a cream or lips solution that has an SPF of 15 or higher and regularly top it up as even eating or talking can cause it to rub off (let alone swimming in the pool!) But if you are unlucky enough to have felt the sting of sun burnt lips, then you aren’t too late as long as you treat it quickly. A cold compress of a cold cloth or something from the fridge should be applied to the lips and left to reduce any swelling. Don’t grab something from the freezer as this is too cold and you just want to help cool them down. Anti-inflammatories can also help reduce that initial swelling and assist you with the pain so be prepared with your medical kit and give your lips the night off from all activities while they recover!
Did you prepare your lips for the summer? Or were you the one on holiday that had to hide their pout from photos before they made it onto Instagram? To be honest, sun burn can get you without even realising it, and you can be the most prepared with sun lotions and lip balms, but ultimately the most effective way to stay protected from the sun is to stay out of it. So, if you do find you have lips prone to burning, the best thing you can do during summer on a beach holiday is to cover up. Hats and scarves will add to your intrigue and can look so hot teamed with the perfect beach outfit, so give the a try instead of risking exposure.
Of course, it isn’t just the sun that can cause damage to the lips, you’ll find that any kind of weather can have a bad effect as well as other lipcentric activities! I’m talking about eating! Foods that are too hot or too cold that pass the lips can burn them or even give a cold burn, so try and wait a while after your food arrives before you tuck in as you could just be doing your lips and mouth a favour.
Wintertime is a delicate one when it comes to my lips and usually the dry conditions of a cold but sunny day are enough to make my lips turn a duller shade and feel really dry and chapped by the time I get home. Environmental factors are actually a big thing for a lot of people’s lips and the change in seasons and conditions outside can be the difference between a silky-smooth pout and a sore and dry one.
But there is a brilliant fix for this, and it involves a tiny tube of Xlips EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm. I would recommend carrying this little tube around with you so that no matter what the weather is like outside, you are never far away from having smooth lips that feel great every day you wake up. If you’re on holiday, this stuff can go in your makeup kit and if you’re not far from home, just pop it in your pocket and you can apply it when you feel your lips need a kickstart back to life. Xlips EGF works deep into the lines on your lips and promotes healthy cell renewal to smooth out the cracks and soothe, restore and nourish your lips and helps repair them back to their natural condition in just a couple of weeks.
I like to use my Xlips EGF Lip Balm at night after I’ve gone through my cleansing routine as you can just put it on and go to sleep without worrying about dry lips, but you can just use it after a day out in the sun and your lipstick will sit nicely over it once it has had chance to soak in. Lip repair isn’t out of reach so if you find you need a little TLC on them, go all out to get them back to their usual pouty selves and your daily makeup routine will become a lot easier. Trust me!
Enhancing Your Lips
When you think of lip enhancements, it can be automatic to go straight toward thinking of fillers, injections, dermal implants and that thought alone might be daunting to you. But there are a lot of positives that outweigh the negative connotations and the fact that this is a possibility now and a lot cheaper and safer than they were 20 years ago, might make this a good opportunity for you. But don’t go into anything that involves injections or surgical procedures without knowing the risks first.
You have probably seen a celebrity or two that has gone a little overboard with fillers and their pout starts to look far too inflated to the point where it becomes a little scary to see how far they can go. But with the right advice and the right attitude toward fillers, it can be a relatively simple procedure that has helped people all over the world feel confident about the shape and size of their lips for the first time in their lives. We all have different faces, eye shapes, hair colours and lips are never the same as anyone else’s, although they all fit into a certain category. There are heart-shaped lips, wide lips, round lips and plump lips and thin lips to name a few. And each shape is equally as beautiful as the next. However, there are instances where people become unhappy with their own shape and want to do something about it. Fillers are injected into targeted areas of the lips to widen them, increase the volume or to even out a top or bottom-heavy lip and should never just be put in without the desired shape in mind. This is how corrections are made that actually have the adverse effect and just make them larger and unnatural looking.
Lip fillers should always be considered with a trained consultant who can go through your options before the procedure, so you know just what to expect afterward. Most lip fillers these days are temporary and naturally dissolve over a period of 6-8 months but can be dissolved early if the planned effect has not been what you expected. It is also really important to keep lips so well hydrated when it comes to fillers or other cosmetic enhancements as the procedure and or having foreign compounds in the body can cause the area to dry out and get dry and at worst, infected.
So, plenty of water, plenty of hydrating balms and you should be good until your next appointment, should you decide that is what you want. Xlips EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm is perfect for enhanced lips as it has moisturising and conditioning properties that help keep the lines smooth and the skin on your lips feeling plump and hydrated.
Lip Plumping Balm
If you aren’t up for any kind of cosmetic or surgical enhancements, the next step for you in the search for the perfect pout is to consider a lip plumping balm. When your average lip balm just isn’t cutting it and your pout could do with a temporary boost, you should give Xlips Lip Plumping Balm a go. It is fantastically complimented with the Xlips EGF Balm that is used to repair and smooth out your lips, but the plumping balm gives you a little extra volume to your lips that will keep you going throughout the day. Again, it is small and compact, so carrying it around with you is no problem if you need a top up and it beats getting fillers on price so I say give it a go and see how you feel with a fuller pout!
When you are thinking about plumping your lips you need to pay attention to the ingredients of a lip plumping balm as this particular one contains hyaluronic acid which is a key promotor of the production of collagen in the lips which is what keeps the blood flowing for that boost in size. The plant and fruit extracts are what encourage the lips to stay healthy while the tingling sensation just means that the balm is working. I absolutely love when that tingling starts as you know that in a few short minutes your lips will feel really full and smoothed out ready for my favourite lipstick!
There are no limits with a lip plumping balm and as they are safe to use daily, you can carry on to your heart’s desire to keep your lips feeling healthy and pouty and I would 100% recommend going down this route before deciding on anything that is a little more permanent!
Choosing a Colour
Lip shades, lipsticks, glosses, matte palettes and tints are everywhere! So many celebrities now are promoting their own brands, so you are not just limited to what you see in stores, but ultimately what you put on your lips is your decision. For me, colour is so important depending on how I feel that day or what I’m wearing and less about what I “should” wear. While there are rules about what colours suit what skin tone and hair colour, I tend to break the rule book and try different shades until I’m comfortable in what I’m wearing. I’m a huge fan of matte lipstick right now and tend to go for a long lasting one but not so much the 24 hour variety purely for the reasons I mentioned earlier about removing it. My lips are very sensitive so for me, it is best to stay away from these as they tend to make my lips dry and flaky when I take this kind of lipstick off.
Lining your lips is also another thing to think about before you go all out on a lipstick. If you are like me and love precision lining with a little more tone to your lips, you’ll want to go for something a little darker than your chosen lip colour and then finish off your lips with a lighter lip shade in the centre of your pout. I also like to enhance my cupid’s bow which is already quite prominent, but it is really playful to accentuate it as it draws attention to the lips – the aim of the game, right?
The best thing you can do at this point, now you have your lips in tip top condition and feeling hydrated and plump, is to experiment with styles that focus on your pout and to have a go at different techniques of lining that can make your lips look bigger than they are. If you are already the proud owner of a full set of lips, then you may not want to do this so much but by adding a couple of tones to your lips you can really add depth to them so they don’t just look like painted on lips!
Call off the Search!
If you have followed the steps above and have watched your lips blossom from dull and cracked to smooth and sensual, then by now you should be ready to show off that pout! The search may be off now you have found your way to the perfect pout, but the trick is to keep it that way. Like everything in life, good maintenance will keep your lips looking healthy and beautiful and they are definitely worth investing in!